Bird Walks & Field Trips

Bird Walks

Monthly Bird Walk (1st of the month)

Bird Walks are meant to be a casual, local morning of birding. They are a great time to enjoy birds with others, find new areas to visit, and/or work on bird identification by sight and sound or to practice your eBird app with help when needed. These walks are usually easy to join or depart at any time during the morning, no commitment to participate in the entire walk if you have limited time. Please, only fully vaccinated participants at this time.

August 3rd* bird walk:  Steigerwald NWR
Meeting time: 7:00 am
Meeting location: Steigerwald visitor lot

We will walk the entry dike, hopefully making it to part of the interior trail. We will enjoy the mass of egrets and pelicans using the refuge and hopefully locate some interesting migrating shorebirds birds using the new habitat. The refuge will be closing for 2 months on August 8th for additional trail and habitat work, so this will be a great opportunity to get a visit in before the closure.

Contact Cindy at to with any questions or sign up for a walk.

*Due to a schedule conflict, August and September bird walks will be held on a day other than the 1st.

Adverse winter weather may cause cancellation, registrants should check their email and/or texts the evening before for updates.

Field Trips

Please review the current VAS Guidelines and Waiver before registering for a trip.

Northern Harrier
Sunday, August 14–Vancouver Lowlands

Leader: Randy Hill & co-leader
Meeting time: 6:30am
Meeting location: Vancouver Lake Flushing Channel parking
Register: email or call/text 360-975-2573

Target species are a wide variety breeding/molting waterfowl, waders, migrating shorebirds, raptors and both wetland and bottomland forest songbirds.

Itinerary: Meet at 06:30 at the Vancouver Lake flushing channel to scan the lake. By 06:45 we will move to Shillapoo Wildlife Area at the end of Lower River Road. Additional areas will include portions of Vancouver Lake hiking trails and Shillapoo Lake. Trip will end around noon or later with opportunities to drop out between sites. Carpooling as possible although total driving less than 10 miles. Spotting scopes highly encouraged, and bring Discover Pass and Clark County Regional Parks parking pass if you have one. Limit of 5 cars, 10 total participants.

Trip travel type expectations: Pace: 1-2 Terrain: A-B plus an optional 250 yard stretch that crosses a cattle pasture. 2-3 miles walking.

August 30-September 1 — Grays Harbor County & Pelagic

Leader: Randy Hill & Cindy McCormack
Meeting time: 7:15am
Meeting location: Salmon Creek Park & Ride
Register: email or call/text 360-975-2573

Targets are near and off-shore birds and mammals during a period of high species diversity: albatross to alcids, whales, dolphins, ocean sunfish and more. Onshore a wide variety of late summer migrants including waterfowl, waders, shorebirds, gulls and songbirds in coastal bay and estuary, freshwater wetland and riverine, and some forest and other habitats.

Itinerary: The group will be finalized by 8/20, with ride-sharing determined before the trip to ensure drivers and parking/pick-up details. We will meet on 8/30 at 07:15 at the Salmon Creek park-and-ride to carpool; no overnight parking. Birding on the way with various stops along US12 and Grays Harbor possibly to Ocean Shores, and including Hoquiam WTP and possibly Bottle Beach; tidal timelines will determine the specific locations. Lodging on your own, but suggested in Westport area as we meet on the boat the next morning by 05:45. 8/31 is the pelagic trip with Westport Seabirds from 06:00 to 15:30. Westport Seabirds provides spotters on the pelagic trip. Back on shore, we will bird areas around Westport before dinner. 9/1 will include more birding near Westport with travel south to Tokeland and other locations around Willapa Bay before returning home by 6pm via SR4.

Fully vaccinated only. Spotting scopes highly encouraged and bring Discover Pass if you have one for state parks visits. You should bring motion sickness medication unless you have a positive track record on the open ocean without medication. This link could be helpful to prepare:

Trip travel type expectations: Pace: 1-2; Terrain: A-C with mostly stops in route walking trails, along sandy beach, and from viewpoints. The pelagic trip includes limited mobility standing or sitting while on the boat, but consider susceptibility to motion sickness and long hours of sun with appropriate preparation for variable ocean conditions. Potential wet or breezy conditions suggest having rain gear
and waterproof boots for comfort.

Limit of 4-5 cars, 10 total participants but initially only 6 spots on this pelagic trip will be held for a limited period. It is recommended that you sign up early, certainly before the end of June, before spaces are filled. In addition to the full three days, this field trip has options for the one day pelagic trip only under the VAS allotment, or two days with an early return after the pelagic or starting with the pelagic. Sign-up should be through VAS field trips, but all lodging and payment for the pelagic trip will be the responsibility of participants. Contact Randy with any questions and to secure the pelagic trip reservation and field trip registration.

8/1 UPDATE: The pelagic trip is full, but a few spaces remain for the 8/30, post-pelagic 8/31, and 9/1 birding listed. Carpooling will be organized before the 8/30 meeting and departure date.

VAS Field Trip Guidelines

VAS Field Trip Waiver

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